Transpartent Budget System (UA0063)
Action Plan: Ukraine Third National Action Plan 2016-2018
Action Plan Cycle: 2016
Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance
Support Institution(s): Eidos Centre for Political Studies and Analysis non-governmental organisation, other civil society institutions and international organisations (by consent).
Event: Implementation of the first stage in the development of the integrated “Transparent budget” information and analysis system.; Implementation timeframe: 2016-2017; Entities responsible: Ministry of Finance; Partners: Eidos Centre for Political Studies and Analysis non-governmental organisation, other civil society institutions and international organisations (by consent).; Expected results: Ensuring the: Development of technical specifications for the development of the “Transparent budget” system (June 2017). Development and trial operation of a “Budget for the citizens” subsystem (December 2017).
IRM End of Term Status Summary
7. Initiate an online “Transparent budget” system
Implementation of the first stage in the development of the integrated “Transparent budget” information and analysis system.
Expected results: Development of technical specifications for the development of the “Transparent budget” system (June 2017). Development and trial operation of a “Budget for the citizens” subsystem (December 2017).
Responsible Institution: Ministry of Finance.
Supporting Institutions: Eidos Center for Political Studies and Analysis non-governmental organization, other civil society institutions and international organizations (by consent).
Start date: December 2016.. End date: August 2018
This commitment aims to implement the first stage in the development of the integrated Transparent Budget information and analysis system. The government planned to elaborate technical specifications for the development of the system and launch a trial operation of the Budget for the Citizens subsystem.
During the first year of the action plan, progress remained limited. Major challenges involved the allocation of funds for information technology (IT) development and a change in leadership in the Ministry of Finance. By midterm, technical specifications of the system had been defined and IT development had started, but the software had not been released. As the project was costly, the Ministry of Finance included additional funds in its section of the draft state budget for 2018. For more information, please see the 2016–2018 IRM midterm report. 
End of term: Complete
According to the acting minister of finance, the ministry allocated the funding for the software within the state budget for 2018.  This particular line of spending was not found in the law on state budget. However, the line of spending may have been hard to find because the government published the budget in an aggregated format.  On 19 July 2018 the multi-stakeholder working group #258 on the module 'Budget for the Citizens' met. The group concluded that due to the absence of a signed contract, it would postpone the developement and testing of the module until the second quarter of 2018.  The next meeting of the multi-stakeholder working group #258 took place on 30 August 2018. At that meeting, the Ministry of Finance presented current developments and discussed issues of functionality and design with participants.  On 17 September 2018 the acting minister of finance presented the “Budget for the Citizens” module.  It functions as a separate portal.  The module has a glossary on budgeting (as a form of civic education). It also presents monthly dynamics of the state budget in the following dimensions: the year 2018 or 2019; national, local, and total; plans, revenues, and spending; and program, economic, and functional classifications of spending. The spending information seems more detailed than the revenue information. However, the commitment did not specify the level of detail that should be included at the trial stage. Therefore, this commitment can be assessed as complete.
In addition, civil society launched a parallel project, Open Budget https://www.openbudget.in.ua/. A model portal of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Administration visualizes the budget data on a map. The portal disaggregates data by spending program.  According to the Open Budget project manager, the government introduced the project in 40 cities. Open Budget could be seen as complimentary to the ministry’s portal. The nongovernmental organization has prepared to incorporate the Open Budget module into the Transparent Budget system. 
Did It Open Government?
Access to Information: Marginal
Before the start of this commitment’s implementation, local authorities did not publish all the existing budget in an open data format. They aggregated it at a very generic level and did not apply a standard format. The commitment intended to correct this practice by presenting the public budgetary information online. The launch of the Budget for the Citizens portal has increased the amount of information on the public budget that is available in an open data format. It details plans, revenue, and spending of national and local budgets with data aggregated at the level of information owners (such as ministries, government agencies, or local authorities). Nevertheless, the disclosure is still at aggregate level. Maximum openness could have been achieved at the level of individual transactions. This has already been done for spending, so it needs to be done for plans and revenues as well. As the data are too aggregated, the change in government practice on improving access to budget information has been marginal.
If the government carries the commitment forward in the next action plan, the IRM researcher recommends that the commitment outline how the monitoring function will be enabled and how regularly it will be updated. The Ministry of Finance could consider designing the public monitoring tool in a user-friendly way that focuses on visualization and analysis. The design could be modeled after the well-known DoZorro module,  used for the monitoring of online public procurement, or the .007 system,  which monitors public spending.
 “Ukraine Mid-Term Report 2016–2018,” Open Government Partnership, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/ukraine-mid-term-report-2016-2018-year-1/.
 Oksana Markarova (Ministry of Finance of Ukraine), interview with IRM researcher, 30 August 2018.
 “The Protocol of Group #258 Meeting on 19 July 2018,” Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, email exchange with IRM researcher, 1 September 2018.
 “The Group #258 Meeting on 30 August 2018,” observation by IRM researcher, 30 August 2018.
 “The Ministry of Finance Presented the Open Data Project ‘Budget for Citizens,’” Ukrinform, 17 September 2018, https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-economy/2539616-u-minfini-prezentuvali-proekt-vidkritih-danih-budzet-dla-gromadan.html.
 Volodymyr Tarnay (Eidos), interview with IRM researcher, 14 August 2018.